First party of summer social protesters being formed

Founders include Olmert's nephew, former IDF spokesman; social movement leaders Dapni Leef, Itzik Shmueli not involved.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 14, 2011 20:23
2 minute read.
Tent city set up on Rothschild Blvd. in TA [file]

Tent City 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

 
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The leaders of last summer’s socioeconomic protest movement repeatedly insisted their demonstrations were apolitical, but they never ruled out that the protests could yield new political frameworks.

The first party to emerge from the protests hit the headlines Wednesday when Army Radio reporter Dan Dobin revealed that a group of protesters had created a new political framework that will run in the next elections.

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The party will reach out to people of all ages. But for technical reasons it will be formed out of the former Pensioners Party, whose name has been changed to Door (generation in Hebrew) from Gil (both happiness and age in Hebrew).

Lawyer Yair Olmert, who helped connect young social activists from the protests to former pensioner affairs minister Rafi Eitan’s party, said the English meaning of the party’s name was also significant for a party that would try to open doors to people who care about social justice and want a centrist path on diplomatic and security issues. Neither Eitan, nor other former Pensioners Party MKs will be Door’s candidates in the next elections.

“The Pensioners are allowing us to use their framework to build a new party from scratch, which will be more flexible than joining a party in the Knesset today,” Olmert explained. “Kadima isn’t a socioeconomic party and its views on such issues are similar to [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu. Labor is a dinosaur with too much union influence. It was time to start something new.”

Olmert, 50, is the son of former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s older brother Amram.



He was involved in the summer tent protests from day one, contributing the largest of the tents, and led past campaigns against the power of the banks.

Former IDF spokesman Brig.- Gen. (res.) Ephraim Lapid is also involved in the project, as are many young people from the protest who don’t want to be named yet. But protest leaders Daphni Leef, Stav Shafir and Itzik Shmueli are not involved.

“There are many initiatives,” Leef told Army Radio. “It doesn’t matter if parties are formed, as long as everyone knows we will be continuing our struggle.”


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